This movie opens during a lavish and colourful wedding party, but even in the middle of that jubilant occasion, it is obvious that we are heading towards tragedy in a Shakespearean proportion. As soon as the couple, Ayodele and Adenike, get married, Ade is pulled aside by her mother in law, perhaps the only villain in the film, and told that she must have a baby, a son, evidently, and that his name must be George.
Andrew Dosunmu, film director, portrays a world that many would judge straightforward. The premise of the story is an African couple living in Brooklyn and having trouble conceiving a child – a problem that defies cultural expectations and leads Adenike to make an outrageous decision that could either save or ruin her family.
The stereotypical notions that many have regarding the role of women in African societies are constantly challenged in this movie. Elusive but distressing in its intimacy, “Mother of George” focuses rather in the global, all inclusive, clash of traditional and modern beliefs.
Dosunmu’s colours in “Mother of George” are nothing short of stunning, as if in every shot, we are given its own resolute consideration – from the traditional clothing the characters wear, to the home decor to the unadorned contrast of New York’s streets.
Ade’s desperate attempts give birth brings the drama to a head, and it’s a credit to the clear-cut work of writer Darci Picoult and director Andrew Dosunmu.
During the film, we are able to recognize the conflicting choices everyone needs to make, but my empathy with Ade’s remains resilient until the end. Danai Gurira, who plays Adenike, carries the movie with a stoical majesty. She’s out of focus at the beginning and ending of the shot, but for a brief moment, her face comes into focus as she stares right at us. In a way it is like we are been told that the answer is intangible as the dilemma she is embroiled. Mother of George is dazzling!The main actors and director need to be highly praised for bringing to life this distressing but yet unpretentious tale.